Rajio Taiso  (Radio Calisthenics)

Rajio Taiso or Radio Calisthenics (ラジオ体操) is a seasonal tradition of summer vacation in Japan. Every morning children would gather in nearby parks and do taiso to radio music. They excitedly waited to have their attendance cards stamped. As people’s lifestyles changed over time, children’s rajio taiso became less common. However, these days the merit of the exercise is being revalued and becoming more popular among adults. Books concerning rajio taiso are big sellers.


Rajio taiso was contrived by officers of the Postal Life Insurance Bureau in hopes of improving people’s health and physique. They got the idea from an American life insurance company in 1923. For the insurance business, keeping people healthy was vital, especially when many were dying of tuberculosis or other infectious diseases. Rajio taiso started broadcasting in 1928 as a part of an imperial commemoration project, the coronation of Emperor Hirohito. A former soldier-turned announcer broadcasted the first program on NHK radio, doing the exercise in front of a microphone, wearing only shorts. Soon after he learned of a princess listening to the program, he dressed in swallowtail and a bow tie.



It was a challenge to explain the exercises precisely on the radio. To help people understand, postal clerks learned the exercises and demonstrated it to local people while

delivering letters. After the 2nd World War gymnastics were prohibited, simply because it seemed militaristic. Making the same movements under a leader’s command seemed undemocratic to the Occupation Forces.


Rajio taiso can be performed by anyone, anywhere. Effective movements are incorporated in a three-minute exercise routine. It trains more than 400 muscles and stretches your body from head to foot. It is an ideal daily exercise to increase flexibility, improve blood flow, and raise your metabolism. Keep fit doing rajio taiso and reduce anxiety, depression and stress!